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Story by Brandon Council

With a newly sworn in Democratic Governor, Illinois lawmakers are spearheading the attack on law abiding citizens gun rights. Both the Illinois State Senate and House of Representatives have introduced sweeping gun laws in the state. Having the majority in Senate, House, and having a Democratic Governor seems to have them confident and eager to infringe.

The Illinois House has introduced four Bills:

House Bill 888: Amends the Firearm Owners Identification Card Act. FOID card applicants will be required to provide access to any social media accounts held by the applicant. In Illinois, when a 4473 is completed to purchase a firearm, the dealer will call the Illinois State Police and they will complete the checks. According to lawcenter.giffords.org, Illinois is a point of contact state for NICS. This means that the Illinois State Police conducts a more in-depth background check including state records, files relating to mental health from the Department of Human Services, and the required NICS check. Essentially, this law would also require FOID applicants submit their social media accounts when applying for review when these checks are conducted. Full text of the bill is linked.

House Bill 899: Amends the Firearm Owners Identification Card Act. It would provide for the state to revoke the FOID card of an individual who reports loss of theft of a firearm three times in any two-year period.  Full text of the bill is linked.

House Bill 174: Amends the Criminal Code of 2012. Currently, within 72 hours of a loss or theft of a firearm, you’re required to report it to law enforcement. If you fail to meet this requirement, you’re guilty of a petty offence. A second violation turns into a Class A misdemeanor.  The amendment adds a third violation (Class 4 felony) and any subsequent violations (Class 3 felony).  Full text of the bill is linked.

House Bill 892: Amends the Criminal Code of 2012. It expands what is illegal regarding firearms. It bans commonly owned firearms with components that are deemed by the state to be undetectable.  If it can’t be detected by a metal detector, or if an image can’t be produced by image detecting devices, it would become a class 2 felony to manufacture, purchase, possess, or sell. This law would amend the Criminal Code of 2012 by expanding what is illegal regarding firearms.  Full text of the bill is linked.

The Illinois Senate has introduced one Bill:

Senate Bill 107: Amends the Criminal Code of 2012. It makes the possession of “assault weapons” and their parts and accessories as described below, illegal.

  • Semi-automatic rifle or handgun that: can accept detachable magazines accepting more than ten rounds; one or more features including foregrips, folding stocks, telescoping stocks, thumbhole stocks, handguard, muzzle break, compensator
  • Semi-automatic shotguns that: can accept a detachable magazine; one or more features including folding stock, telescoping stock, thumbhole stock, foregrip
  • Fixed-magazine semi-automatic rifles or handguns with capacity greater that ten rounds
  • Fixed-magazine shotguns with capacity greater than five rounds.
  • Shotguns with revolving cylinders

The bill also lists specific firearms that are to be considered “assault weapons”. It gives the states definitions of all the terms used in the bill. There is a “grandfather clause” in the bill that allows the owner of “assault weapons” before the effective date of the bill to register their firearms and legally own them, and stipulations for transfers. Furthermore, it gives exempt parties, exemptions, and requirements for transport through the state for out of state residents. Full text of the bill is linked.

There are a few take-aways from these bills the people of Illinois should consider. HB888 could be an infringement on Illinois gun owners Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment. There would be no due process if the application was denied due to social media posts. On top of this, there is no detailed guidelines on how the State Police can use this. There are way too many open ends with little detail. HB899 puts individuals who live in a high-crime area at a disadvantage. The state doesn’t know everyone’s circumstances. While having a firearm stolen or losing a firearm three different times in a two-year period is probably quite rare, I could imagine possible reasons this could happen. HB174 just gives more detail to a law already written. HB892 leaves a lot of room for the state to dictate what’s legal and what’s not. There are no real specifics as to what is covered under the law. Polymer? Then comes SB107. This would amend the Criminal Code of 2012 to include some of the most restrictive gun laws in any State if it were passed.

For Illinois residents, now is the time to contact your elected officials and tell them respectfully yet firmly that you oppose this and any anti-gun legislation. I take the stance on gun control that if you give them an inch, they will take a mile. They’re trying to take a mile with all these bills making their way through Illinois General Assembly. Any of these bills passing and being signed into law would be a negative mark on Illinois gun rights. They say that gun control is a “slippery slope”, well, Illinois may be sliding more and more down the mountain with this legislation.